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Charles Mahoney (1903 - 1968)

Study for Autumn, circa 1951

SKU: 2543

Charcoal on tracing paper, squared in blue, 15 1/2 x 9 in. (39.5 x 23 cm.)

Presentation:
mounted

Size:
Height – 39.5cm x Width – 23cm

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s Studio

Although not specifically related to the Festival of Britain commission, Autumn was produced during the same period as The
Garden and but for a slight difference in height could be described as its pair. The artist’s wife, Dorothy, posed for the main
figure. The formal qualities of the Victorian red brick house Рwhich was visible from the platform at Borough Green Station –
held a fascination for Mahoney. He frequently travelled from the station to London during the period that he taught at the Royal
College of Art.

For drawing, Mahoney liked a textured paper, soft to the touch, such as Ingres, or still better, hand-made papers from
firms such as Hayle Mill or Barcham Green. Occasionally he bought cheap sketchbooks from Woolworth’s because
he found the paper so sympathetic as a surface for drawing. For his earliest drawings he used mainly B or 2B
pencils, but he later preferred Black Prince or carbon pencils. He often used charcoal, adding white or red crayons to
highlight drawings. Sometimes he combined these with conté crayons or pastels. For his later drawings he preferred
pen and wash, taking great trouble to mix and dilute his inks until he achieved the required tone and colour. His
drawing pens were either reservoir nibs in holders or else cartridge pens.

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THE ARTIST

Charles Mahoney
Charles
Mahoney
1903 - 1968

In his memoir Since 50, Men & Memories 1922-1938 (New York,1940, p. 236) the first two names that appear on William Rothenstein list of top Royal College of Art students were Henry Moore and Charles Mahoney – the list continues with the names of luminaries such as Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, Barnett Freedman Edward Le Bas, and Evelyn Dunbar. The process of reassuring Mahoney’s place in 20th century British Art has had several important milestones including the 1975 Ashmolean exhibition, the Liss Fine Art/Fine Art Society touring show (2000) and Mahoney’s predominant feature in Tate Britain’s The Art of the Garden, (2005) – but the process of reassessment still has a long way to go.

Painter, muralist, draughtsman and teacher. Born Cyril Mahoney in London – his fellow-student Barnett Freedman re-christened him Charlie at the Royal College of Art, which he attended 1922-6 after a period at Beckenham School of Art under Percy Jowett. Early on, Mahoney established a reputation as a conscientious teacher. He was at the Royal College 1928-53, from 1948-53 as a painting tutor, and was noted there for his concern for academic discipline. His portrait is included in Rodrigo Moynihan’s celebrated Teaching Staff of the Painting School at the Royal College of Art, 1949-50. From 1954 to 1963 he taught at the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting and from 1961 to 1968 at the Royal Academy Schools. He painted murals at Morley College 1928-30 with his colleagues Eric Ravillious and Edward Bawden. Unfortunately these murals were destroyed during World War II. The work led to further murals: at Brockley School, Kent, with Evelyn Dunbar; and at Campion Hall Lady Chapel, Oxford. His oil paintings are frequently of a religious nature. He was a skilled botanist, and many of his drawings depict his garden at Wrotham, Kent. He exhibited at NEAC and the RA, being made an RA elect in 1968. He is represented in the Tate Gallery and other public collections. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, held a memorial exhibition in 1975. Exhibitions were held in 2000 at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Royal Museum and Art Gallery, Canterbury, and the Fine Art Society plc in association with Liss Fine Art.

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Study of a cherub, for Campion Hall, early 1940’s

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Bonfire of the vanities, circa 1950

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Adoration of the Shepherds, (Winter), c.1942

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